Same Sex Relationships
Same sex couples can’t get married in Australia.
If a same sex couple travels overseas to marry in a country that allows same sex marriage, that marriage will not be recognised under Australian law. This can cause problems if the couple wants to get divorced.
Same sex couples now fall under the same regime in relation to property as opposite sex unmarried couples. This means that the same rules about eligibility to make an application to the Court about the division of property. If you are in a same sex de facto relationship you should have a look at our De Facto Relationships page.
If a relationship breaks down and there are children involved, families are treated in exactly the same way under the Family Law Act, regardless of whether the parents are married, in an opposite sex relationship, in a same-sex relationship or not in a relationship at all.
Even though the new Family Law regime treats all de facto relationships the same, there are some family law issues that are unique to same sex relationships. For example, sometimes donor conceived children with same sex parents also have a parent-child relationship with their donor. The more people involved in parenting, the more complicated the time arrangements can be post-separation.
Other issues specific to same-sex relationships can include:
- • Applying for a divorce if you were married overseas;
- • Your rights in relation to children that are not biologically related to you;
- • The rights of a donor or surrogate in relation to a child;
- • Altruistic agreements with a donor or surrogate in Australia;
- • Commercial agreements with a donor or surrogate overseas; and
- • Estate planning and the ability to make decisions as your partner’s next of kin.